We have been informed that the 5 gymnasiums currently occupied by displaced refugees from the camp in Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk will be relocated to Accommodation Centres across France on Friday. Only 1000 places will so far be provided, and all are dependent on local Prefectures. We do not yet know the locations, but will continue to support people as a matter of urgency with all necessary supplies before they are relocated, and after relocation too.
Already we are witnessing the effects of the great influence and threat from criminal gangs operating in the area, who have either forced or scared families, adults and unaccompanied children into leave the state-provided gymnasiums. These people are now unaccounted for and may not be able to access Accommodation Centres.
After our data collection last Sunday with Dunkirk Legal Support Team and L’auberge des migrants international, we are looking at safe ways of providing authorities with information on these minors, which will create and REINFORCE the obligation from authorities to protect these children in need. While their presence is still greatly refuted by authorities we are prepared to go to all necessary lengths to ensure the French authorities locate these children and act on their duty to provide basic child protection and safeguard them.
Simultaneously, the 80 children identified to have family links to the UK urgently need to be identified and offered safe and legal routes to join their families. This is a matter of urgency.
We are also continuing to support homeless unaccompanied minors in Calais, who have STILL been provided with NO solutions to their situation. We estimate their number to be in the vicinity of 200, and they are still facing dire conditions, and unimaginable insecurity in terms of shelter, health and protection. They would also face going hungry every night if it wouldn’t be for the incredible work of volunteers and grassroots NGOs. They are facing police intimidation and violence every day, and we constantly fear their vulnerability to criminal groups.
Please support our emergency response operation in Dunkirk by donating. Our target has increased. because of the move and political change up in the coming weeks, we expect people to return to the region, so we will need your ongoing support. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us so far.